Barry McBride - Topic #1
Barry - On Friday morning, we learn that the Browns have signed CB Nate Clements, but in doing so, they gave him a $20 million signing bonus over five years. Good call or bad call?
John Taylor - Good call. They need a corner and have the cash to burn.
Rich Passan - Good call. Whatever it takes to sign this guy, do it. He'll solve one big problem for the next 10 years.
Fred Greetham - It's not my money, so I say good job.
John - Excellent answer, Rich.
Barry - Ten years? You think he can play until he's 36?
Rich - Clements is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
Barry - John's 37 and broke his ankle walking up the stairs or something.
John - He's from THE Ohio State University. He can play as long as he wants.
John - I'm 38 and I broke it jumping up and down celebrating.
Rich - OK, maybe the next eight years. He's close to being the total package at his position. Can cover, support the run and is one of the best tacklers in the league.
John - Exactly, Fred. Don't compound past misfortune by being gun-shy.
Barry - Alright. Me, I'm nervous because Nate Clements doesn't weigh 320 pounds and stuff the run.
Rich - Pair him with Leigh Bodden, if Bodden can stay healthy long enough, and the Browns are set at CB for a long time.
John - They can address the DL AND sign Clements. It's not an either/or proposition.
Rich - One of Phil Savage's biggest challenges will be to build -- not rebuild -- a defensive line.
Fred - I agree that won't stop the run, but if there was the equivalent of a Clements on the DL, they should get him.
Barry - Topic #2
Barry - Last week, Phil Savage spent a long time explaining the how he "facilitated" hiring new coaches, but it was Romeo's call on who was hired. Are you convinced?
Rich - Bullroar.
Rich - If you believe that, you'll believe anything.
Barry - LOL
Fred - I think Phil let Romeo make the call after he put the gun to his head.
John - RAC was given a choice: make changes or be fired. So, of course, he went along with savage's "suggestions".
Rich - Romeo has been reduced to a figurehead with this organization.
Barry - Follow-up
Barry - If that is the case, has the media made too big a deal of this? Does it matter?
Rich - Too big a deal of what?
Barry - Too big a deal of who hired who?
Rich - You can never make too big a deal when a head coach is not allowed to hire his own staff.
Fred - I haven't heard of any of these guys anyway, so I don't think it matters who hired who. They need better players anyway.
John - It doesn't matter because if RAC doesn't win this year, he's gone. If he does win, all is well in Berea and RAC and Phil will be sailing the same ship in the same direction. Phil can't really lose.
Rich - No, he can't lose. Yet. But that peel gets a little slipperier if there is no significant progress this season.
Barry - There are a lot of people who say that some of these guys weren't the best hires... that there were better people available. If Phil pulled the strings but Romeo takes the fall, then it's the wrong thing to have happened.
Barry - Any other comments on this one?
Rich - Then shame on Romeo for rubber-stamping these guys.
Fred - Coaches are hired to be fired and that's what will happen.
John - I'm coming at this from the angle that RAC is not the guy to turn it around, so it doesn't matter if he has coaches heaped on him or not. Look what happened when he was allowed to hire the staff. We got Maurice.
Fred - Good point.
Barry - Good point, John... Crennel has been good at hiring defensive coaches, but doesn't have a great record on the offensive side of the ball.
Rich - Could it be that they couldn't get certain coaches because those coaches weren't certain of how tenuous Romeo's job was and were afraid of their own job security?
Barry - And, for the record, Jeff Davidson got jobbed here in Cleveland. But he landed on his feet real fast.
John - But I don't think a coach should be forced to have this coach or that coach. You cut him off at the knees. Should've just fired him.
John - That's exactly it Rich.
John - Agree to a degree, Barry.
Fred - I believe that's exactly the reason. Jerry Rosburg left because he knows there's a honeymoon era with Bobby Petrino in Atlanta.
Rich - Did Davidson get jobbed? By whom?
John - I think Davidson should've been given an entire offseason to install his offense. He shouldn't have been judged on Maurice's leftover playbook.
Barry - By the Browns, since he was just a caretaker for Mo's offense and wasn't in a position to realistically turn it around.
Barry - I wrote that before they fired Mo. If you give the job to Davidson, you give him an entire season before you judge him. It's not like we just brought in someone with Lindy Infante's track record to replace him.
Fred - They obviously didn't feel strongly enough that Davidson would make a big enough impact as OC in his own system, so they went elsewhere.
Barry - I just think it's one of those things that make the Browns look a little worse around the league... anytime you do something like that to a guy.
John - By "they" you mean Phil, right Fred? :-)
Rich - Savage conducted the whole transformation of the offensive staff. And if we believe the rumors, he and Davidson didn't exactly hit it off.
Barry - Then it baffles me why a solid organization like Carolina jumped on him.
Fred - Yes.
Barry - Alright Topic #3
Rich - Matt Hasselbeck.
Rich - The kid's got an impressive package. Too bad he hasn't been able to show it off.
Fred - I think he will be a solid player, but I don't know about Hasselbeck.
John - I'd say closer to Hasselbeck than Volek. I like Schaub a lot. Not enough to give up a first and a third, but maybe a second and some other second-day pick.
Barry - I knew you were going to say that. Why are you such a believer in Schaub, Rich?
Rich - He's smart, doesn't make many mistakes, is a classic thrower, has strong leadership qualities.
Barry - Being 6'5" probably helps.
Barry - Looks like the prototypical NFL quarterback
John - He doesn't make mistakes because he never steps foot on the field. ;-)
Barry - But I'm with John here, no way do I spend more than a second rounder for him
Fred - You hope he isn't a Scott Mitchell.
Barry - Exactly. A.J. Feeley... Remember when Doug Pederson got that nice contract?
John - The Pack got Favre for, what, a second-rounder from the Falcons?
Rich - I suggested a second rounder and Chaun Thompson the other day. Don't know if the Falcons would go for that, though. I'm sure they'll try for more.
Barry - By the way, Rich, I saw that discussed on another site's message board as a "rumor", LOL. Congratulations on starting a trade rumor.
Rich - He won't be a Scott Mitchell. Mitchell had nothing between his ears. Schaub does.
Barry - Mitchell had something around his waist, though.
John - Schaub would be a nice addition because that'd enable the Browns to go even harder after Adrian Peterson in the draft.
Rich - Good point. And thank for the props.
Fred - I'm all for bringing in a quarterback...but not through the draft.
Rich – The Packers paid a first-rounder for Favre.
John - Was it? Thought it was a second-rounder.
Barry - Alright Topic 4
John - Yes. Next topic.
Rich - Yes. Unless you consider Dockery top grade.
Fred - Yes. The draft has to be used, but at least one starter needs to be added through FA.
Barry - I would think that it nearly dooms Crennel as much as drafting Jamarcus Russell
Barry - Unanimous agreement: Phil needs to sign either Dielman or Steinbach. Has to.
John - I think RAC is doomed regardless.
Rich - It's almost imperative that he do so. Unless he expects Isaac Sowells to all of a sudden blossom.
Fred - I agree. Don't think he's more than a great DC.
Barry - Probably true, but it's over before it starts if they either draft Russell or don't significantly upgrade OG.
John - They still like Sowells, but they need to upgrade through both the draft and FA.
Barry - Topic 5
Barry - Similar question
Barry - Who is the most important free agent for the Browns to sign? Who is that one guy you will be disappointed if they don't get?
Fred - Clements
John - Dielman or Steinbach, with Clements a very close second.
Rich - Hard to decided between Clements and either of the top guards.
Rich - Decide
Barry - The answer is Eric Steinbach, because we should have drafted that guy four years ago
John - I'll go with Dielman since Rich is pressuring for a decision.
Rich - No argument there
John - Is that Barry or John McLaughlin?
Fred - I'll take two out of the three.
Barry - WRONG!
Rich - OK. Clements.
John - I'm with Fred.
Fred - Who are you? John McLaughlin.
Rich - Is this PBS?
Barry - Freddy "The Beetle" Greetham?
Barry - Alrighty then!
Rich - Focus, gentlemen, focus!!
Barry - One more topic before we go to the three-question lightning round
Barry - Mike Doss: Do you take a serious look at him or "forget to return" his agent's phone calls?
Rich - No. No. And no.
John - Forget his agent's name and phone number.
Fred - They have other concerns right now.
Rich - Bob Sanders is the best safety with that team and he's not available.
Barry - Agreed there. Another guy I wanted to see them draft (sigh)
John - That's why they're gonna let Brian Russell leave: they can use their cap dollars elsewhere in positions of need.
Barry - I say you at least talk to him, because he could be had cheap.
John - WRONG!!!
Barry - After Jones, Pool, and Hamilton - who has one year of experience at the position - who do we have?
Barry - Run Gary Baxter out there behind his walker?
Fred - You or me.
Rich - All you need is three back there.
Barry - At least you should talk to him, and sign him for the vet minimum
John - I could go with that, but he'll get more than that.
Rich - If Baxter ever plays ball again, it most likely will be as a safety, a position he shouldn't have left to begin with.
John - Amen Rich.
Rich - Blame the Browns for permitting him such a move.
Barry - I doubt he'll have the closing speed to play it when he comes back in.
Fred - I was there when he said he wouldn't play safety ever.
John - But Baxter won't ever play again. Can't see it happening.
Barry - Two patellar tendons? Doesn't sound likely.
Rich - Was that before or after his injury, Fred?
Fred - Agreed.
Fred - Before. I didn't see him as a good tackler anyway.
Barry - Lightning Round! Three questions, all answers must be one word
Barry - And then we're done.
Barry - You ready?
Rich - Yep
John - yup
Barry - 1. On a scale of one to ten, with one being the likelihood that Bill Cowher becomes a male model and ten being a metaphysical certainty, how likely is it that Adalius Thomas signs with the Cleveland Browns?
Barry - Rich Passan?
Rich - Nil
Barry - John Taylor?
John - 2
Fred - 6
Rich - Barry?
Barry - Rich Passan is correct. He'll never sign with the Browns after listening to Bart Scott mock us last year from the Browns facility in Berea.
Barry - 0
John - Man, I was so close.
Rich – He'll sign with S.F.
Fred - Money is all that talks.
Barry - Question 2
Barry - 2. Pre-Free Agency Gut Check: Probability between 0% and 100% that Romeo Crennel is the 2008 head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Rich - Nil
Fred - 50/50
John - 10% that he is
Barry - 10% is my answer as well.
Rich - You're too much of an optimist Fred
John - YES!!!!!
Rich - Does John win the big prize?
Barry - No, you're tied 1-1
Rich - Damn
Rich - Can't stand the pressure
Barry - Final question
Barry - 3. Nate Clements has started every single game of his six-year career with the Bills. How many games will be play before he gets a serious injury with the Browns?
Rich - One
John - None
Rich - First play of training camp, John?
John - He'll tear an ACL at the PC announcing his signing.
Fred - Five, might as well be optimistic.
Barry - Optimistic Fred Greetham is correct.
Rich - Gotta stay true to form, Fred
John - This is so rigged.
Rich - So who wins?
Barry - Clements will give us early season hope, and then crush our hearts like Godzilla stepping on Bambi
Rich - That is so PI
Barry - Sorry, there are no winners tonight but the subscribers of the Orange & Brown Report.
Rich - Let's do this again.
Barry - And me, because I never said what I would pay you all for this.
Fred - The good news is the Browns will be able to stop the pass, but teams will never have to pass because they still can't stop the run.
Rich - You're gonna pay us?
John - This was fun. Just glad that Schudel guy couldn't make it.
Barry - The real winner tonight is Java technology, for defeating Jeff Schudel.
Rich - Agreed, John.